Last Saturday I was bicycling the W & OD trail and at the 25.5 mile mark (44652 Guilford Drive, Ashburn, VA) I saw a sign on the side of the trail pointing to the “Old Ox” brewpub. I figured “how bad can it be if it serves beer,” so I rode in and saw a warehouse space that’s been converted into a beer garden style pub and brewery. The place was full and just about everyone there arrived on a bike. Beer was not awful – the staff was great.”
Anyone else ever been? They’re having a party next Saturday:
Thanks to a reader for sending. From the Arlington Sun Gazette:
“Cullen on Oct. 18 was sentenced to 12 years in state prison after pleading guilty to eight counts of grand larceny with the intent to sell, and one count of burglarious tools, following his arrest on charges of stealing bicycles in the county.”
“Top Chef All-Stars Runner-Up, Mike Isabella, announces plans to open a new Greek restaurant in the 4,700 square foot space at 4000 Wilson Blvd. in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, VA. Kapnos Taverna, set to open in summer 2014, is a sister restaurant to Kapnos, Isabella’s Northern Greek-inspired restaurant, which opened on the 14th Street Corridor just two months ago in early July.
“Guests have been asking me to build a restaurant in Virginia or Maryland since we opened Graffiato in 2011. Kapnos has been wildly popular in its first few months, and we think this sister concept will be a great addition to the booming neighborhoods in Arlington,” said chef/owner Mike Isabella. “Next spring, our team will travel to Greece, and we plan to build the menu around reinterpretations of regional cuisine.”
Isabella’s team plans to showcase their dishes from the Cyclades, Peloponnese, Thessaloniki, Ionian Islands and Crete. While the Kapnos Taverna menu will include some dishes from the original Kapnos, there will be some noticeable differences, including the addition of weekday lunch, weekend brunch and a happy hour menu. Kapnos Taverna will have one rotating spit, instead of two, to roast whole chickens, lamb and pork shoulders.
The bar program will include up to 10 cocktails on tap and the largest wine program in Isabella’s family of restaurants. More than 200 bottles will be displayed in a two-story glass enclosed case built to stretch from the first floor to the mezzanine. The 185-seat restaurant will also feature a 40-seat seasonal outdoor patio.”
One of the coolest neighborhoods near D.C. that few people seem to know about is Lake Barcroft, in Falls Church. Starting around 1950, the insular-but-welcoming Lake Barcroft community developed around a gorgeous man-made lake, which had previously been used as a reservoir. As such, the community has two unique features: a huge collection of stunning mid-century architectural gems, and a gigantic private lake useable only by Lake Barcroft residents. Most of the homes for sale are fairly affordable, especially those that are not directly adjacent to (but always within minutes walking of) the lake. For fans of mid-century homes, it’s worth a trip just to drive around the lake and see houses the likes of which you’ll rarely find anywhere else in the D.C. metro area. And for folks who are willing to accept a slightly longer commute in exchange for the feel of year-round lakeside resort community living, it’s an amazing place to live.
In my first Blurbs from the Burbs post, I noted that I’d been pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of ethnic food available in Arlington and Falls Church. Now that I’ve had a chance to sample even more top-notch local restaurants, I thought I’d share more details on a few places that are worth the trip on the Orange Line. I note that in no way does this list claim to be comprehensive, as I’ve only lived in the area for a few months now. For example, I’ve yet to try any of the purportedly stellar Korean restaurants in the area. Here are my favorites as of today:
Hong Kong Palace is easily the best Chinese food I’ve tried in the D.C. area. The cooking is Szechuan style, and the flavors and quality are closely comparable to foodie favorite Peter Chang’s China Cafe near Richmond (which, by the way, I also highly recommend). Note that if you are averse to spicy food, or prefer your Chinese food covered in sticky-sweet sauces per the typical Americanized Chinese, HKP is not for you. The fried chicken with dried chili peppers is a must-try. I also recommend, as appetizers, the dan dan noodles and chengdu zhong dumplings.
Biking around Town is written by Josh Nadas (@dcliterate), a daily bike commuter & avid rider who works for the National Park Service, and lives in Mount Pleasant.
I love Italian markets. There are a couple around DC, and the Italian Store is one of my favorites. Their pizza is legendary, and their sandwiches are some of my favorites around town. The store also boasts an impressive selection of prepared Italian food, frozen pastas, and sauces. I could go on and on, but safe to say it’s a great store. Here’s how to get there:
I started this route at New Hampshire and M street NW. From there, you want to take M street westbound all the way to the Key bridge. Take the sidewalk to cross the bridge. While that sounds simple, there are a lot of cars on M street, and the left hand turn onto the sidewalk to cross the bridge involves either dismounting and walking or patience through 1-2 light cycles to accomplish it safely.
Getting through Georgetown is the hardest part of the ride. Once you get onto the sidewalk of the bridge, the entire rest of the route is the paved trail until you get to the shopping center where the Italian Store is located. The only part where you need to be careful is crossing the intersection with the GW parkway. Promise me that your going to wait for the light – okay? Even with the light be aware that there are people in the right lane turning right – it’s an unusually busy crossing.
Blurbs from the ‘Burbs is written by Arlington resident Jeff Zeeman.
Bluemont Park is worth a visit during a Spring venture into Arlington. The park features a frisbee golf course, an amazing train-themed playground, a gorgeous stream, a vintage train caboose, and my favorite, this inventive public art installation from J.W. Mahoney. If you are in the area, see if you can locate all of the engraved stones … some are more obvious than others. Be sure to also check out adjacent Bon Air Park, which features a spectacular rose garden.